Original Article By Sara Higdon At ThePostMillennial.com:

Lululemon fired two employees after they called the police on a group of looters who robbed the store four or five times in Peachtree Corners, Georgia. According to PJ Media, associate manager Jennifer Ferguson and Rachel Rogers, a sales associate, were given the boot for breaking the company’s “zero tolerance” policy for calling 911. Lululemon said that the women were instead fired for engaging with the thieves and confronting them.

“All of a sudden we see some gentlemen run into the store in masks and hoodies,” Ferguson described the scene. “They swiped until they couldn’t hold any more product and ran out the door.”

“We are not supposed to get in the way. You kind of clear path for whatever they’re going to do,” she added. “And then, after it’s over, you scan a QR code. And that’s that. We’ve been told not to put it in any notes, because that might scare other people. We’re not supposed to call the police, not really supposed to talk about it.”

Lululemon countered their employees’ claim, saying that their handbook on theft specifically states that employees should not put themselves at risk by trying to stop a theft, which includes refraining from filming or photographing the incident or the individuals involved. Employees are meant to acknolwedge their understanding of this policy annually. That handbook also states that employees should let theives leave, and should “always call 911.” Theft, a representative said, is always an issue. 

Rogers told WSBTV, “I’ve experienced it probably five or six times, and I know it’s happened on other occasions when other people are working.”

Ferguson’s husband, James, said, “These are two exemplary employees, both leaders and looking to advance within the company.” He continued, “And what was their reward? They were immediately terminated without mention of severance or any financial consideration. Then, as the two terminated employees compared notes on their Zoom call experiences, it comes out that the Regional Manager for Lululemon openly questioned why they would call the police. Stating that it would ‘look bad for Lululemon to be the company calling the police.’ Are you kidding me? These ladies are heroes of sorts.”

“I do not and likely you do not want our area to end up like San Francisco or Portland, where retailers are pulling out of the cities due to theft and crime,” he said. “Where citizens are afraid to go to certain areas because the police are not or will not be called. If we, citizens of the community, allow criminal activity to go unchecked, that is tacit approval for them to continue their ways. This is not what our country, state, or community are about. Law and Order must have a respected place and criminal activity must be punished.” 

“Furthermore, brave and courageous citizens and employees should be commended, not punished, for taking a stand,” James concluded. 

“The two employees at our Peachtree Corners location in Georgia were not terminated for calling the police,” Lululemon said. “They were terminated for knowingly violating our zero-tolerance policy related to physically engaging with the perpetrators which put their lives and the safety of our guests and other employees at risk. Employees are able and instructed to call 911 when needed, and that was not the cause of termination in this case. We are grateful no one was hurt during this altercation.”

“At lululemon,” a spokesperson continued, “our people’s safety is our number one priority, which includes an absolute zero-tolerance policy for our employees engaging with guests in a way that could put themselves, or others, in harm’s way. We have longstanding protocols in place to uphold a safe environment in our stores, and our view is that no amount of merchandise in a store is worth our educators putting themselves at risk. Our focus is on continuing to support our employees and creating a safe shopping environment for our guests, as well as continuing to collaborate with local partners and law enforcement to ensure our stores remain safe.”

The three men were caught the next day after trying to hit another Lululemon store in the area. 

In recent years retail businesses have decided to not prosecute shoplifting incidents, resulting in many losing massive amounts of money. In one example, Walmart closed all Portland stores due to rampant shoplifting.